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orca test


Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat


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Posted by Merry on December 14, 2011 at 10:37:18:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Sad day today posted by Max Bottomtime on January 01, 2011 at 20:55:55:

Killer whales off Palos Verdes on Saturday might explain the frantic, swim-step-hopping sea lion we encountered less than 3 days before in that area. Dumb luck is the only reason we got to see these members of the dolphin family, and we were doubly lucky that whale expert, Alisa Schulman-Janiger, was already there.

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Project Coordinator for the American Cetacean Society, Alisa has been studying killer whales (Orcinus orca) for 27 years. Interestingly, 4 distinct populations of killer whale occur off the west coast of Canada and the U.S. Alisa identified this pod as members of the “Transients”, which feed exclusively on marine mammals, not fish.

This group had already made a sea lion kill and here’s the evidence.

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After feeding, breaching may occur…

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There were several males; this is the Big Boy.

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Two females and a male.

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Two juveniles and two calves were in the pod; one calf is less than a year old. You can hear a calf (or juvenile ?) vocalize once in Phil’s video. It sounds like flatulence. Seriously!

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Alisa has previously identified all 12 individuals. Each orca has a distinctive eye patch and uniquely shaped saddle behind their dorsal fin, which also varies slightly in shape and may have a nick or two. Here are 3 different individuals.

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The matriarch has been seen locally several times since first seen in Monterey in 2001. She has 4 kids and 2 grandkids. According to Alisa, this killer whale is SUPER boat-friendly. The rest of the pod certainly wasn’t shy either. Countless times, we watched massive bodies swimming toward and under our boat; one turned on its side as if to look at us, and one male ran its dorsal fin along our freeboard.

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A tangle of courtship and mating ensued; one immature male tried to get in on the action, but both Phil and I missed a critical moment. That’s all I’m going to say.

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One behavior that I enjoy watching most is their synchronized movement.

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The End.

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